The Safe Schools program has been a contentious subject among Australians this past year, but would social networks stoop so low as to deliberately filter what users are seeing about the topic in their newsfeed? The facts speak for themselves.
A group endorsing marriage between one man and one woman, Family Voice Australia, was subjected to some questionable Facebook censoring last weekend after posting an article about young children being exposed to Safe Schools-approved lessons on the “transsexual experience”. While the curriculum was designed for secondary schools only, it was allegedly taught to primary school students in Victoria by Safe Schools co-founder Roz Ward, who also lacks any teaching qualifications.
The post, which garnered hundreds of likes and comments from supporters, was originally flagged by Facebook as “spam”, though they later admitted the story was removed erroneously.
A simple mistake? Possibly. But this isn’t the only accusation of Facebook’s selective censoring. In addition to recent allegations from Family Voice Australia and the Centre for Public Christianity, the social media giant is in hot water in the United States over claims of liberal bias and the consistent stifling of certain political perspectives, which has prompted Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to meet with prominent U.S. conservatives this week.
Family Voice spokeswoman Ros Phillips weighed in on the controversy, noting that Australians were being denied their right to know important information that could affect their views on current debates. “Whatever happened to democracy and free speech?”